During the meeting she kept looking down at her chubby child-shaped hands and noticing how truly awful her fingernails were. Each nail bed was bordered by irritated hangnail shreds. She tried to rip them off but stopped when she realized that her winces were visible to the other people in the room. She turned her attention to the cuticles themselves, which crept up over the nail with vengeance. They were on mission to take over the entire fingertip and she was too weary to stop them.
Feeling heavy, she left the meeting with a vague prayer on her lips. “Made from dirt and living in dirt with dirty nails.” She put her pinky in her mouth to stop a bleeding hangnail. “I can’t wait to see this shiny new kingdom we’re always singing about.”
She started to drive out of the parking lot but noticed some of the blooming landscape and stopped to take a photo — in case she needed something pretty to post online later.
Peonies. The most perfectly pink flowers she’d ever seen. The closer she got the more impressive they were. How many petals are on a peony? How do they spread so perfectly from that bouncy ball-shaped bud? And is there seriously still dew on these guys? Beads of water dotting fairy tale flowers. It seemed unreal.
And yet, it was real. These flowers were just as real as her Frankenstein cuticles. Just as tangible. Her imperfect hands reached out to feel how soft the petals were. “Thank you,” she prayed again. “The kingdom is not here yet, but it’s bursting through. One magical flower at a time.”